Book Review: Under Locke by Mariana Zapata

Unfortunately, when I thought of reading the entire backlist of Mariana Zapata, I didn’t think of doing it chronologically. I can’t say this book review of Under Locke is positive in any way because this novel was boring from start to finish, and even a little problematic when you analyze it.

(Review may contain spoilers.)

Book review Under Locke

Under Locke by Mariana Zapata official cover
Under Locke official cover art

My rating: ★★ (2/5)

Summary: Broke and homeless, Iris moves in with her older half-brother, who found her a job at a tattoo parlor. But the boss is her brother’s friend and also a member of the motorcycle club her estranged father once belonged to. Queue in “hot but toxic boss” and “daddy related drama” for a cocktail of bad writing.

Genre: Contemporary romance, biker romance

Audience: Adult

Themes/potential trigger warnings: explicit sex, slut-shaming, assault

Internalized misogyny? On a platter.

There’s nothing positive about Under Locke, starting with the main characters. On one side, we have Iris, who is a cancer survivor who cries the moment someone glares at her. On the other side, Dex Locke has no other purpose than looking “dangerous” and “hot” while being rude to anything that breathes. This is the typical Alpha Male VS Pushover Jane type of novel. She can’t do anything or she fails every time she does. He’s obviously too cool for this planet.

I cannot tell you the number of times I eye rolled at Iris’ overly exaggerated jealousy and slut-shaming. Nor can I tell you how annoying the transcription of Dex’s accent was. We get it, they’re in Austin, people have accents, blah blah blah. I don’t need ta be readin’ every dialogue like this tho.

When the plot isn’t related to the characters…

At least the title is appropriate. Under Locke, yes, because Iris is useless in resolving this story. Mean Croatian men want to find Iris’ dad, who owes them money, and Iris sits in Dex’s car while he gets the job done, but not before popping her cherry.

I seriously don’t recommend this book unless you want to hurt yourself with this heroine. ACOTAR was easier to read than this.